Panchkula to vote for new mayor, 20 councillors
About 1.89 lakh people will seal the fate of six mayoral candidates and 83 others in the fray for 20 seats of councillor as the Panchkula municipal corporation goes to the polls on Sunday.
Set up in 2010, the MC witnessed its first election in 2013, when the Congress won the mayor’s post and majority in the House with 12 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Lok Dal won three each and two seats went to Independent candidates.
The city’s first mayor, Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia, remained on the post till 2018 when the House was dissolved. She is again in the fray in mainly a two-cornered contest with the BJP’s Kulbhushan Goyal. The other contenders are Anil Pangotra of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Sudarshan Bansal of Janral Samaj Party and Independents Padam Garg and Shyam Singh Negi.
This is the first time elections are taking place in a bifurcated MC, as Kalka and Pinjore were separated from the limits of the Panchkula civic body earlier this year.
Voting from 8:30am, no phones allowed
The voting will begin at 275 polling booths across 20 wards at 8:30am on Sunday. It will continue till 5:30pm.
The administration has appointed 12 supervisors besides 16 polling parties. At every polling booth, there will be five polling officials besides two to three cops and home guards. While 98 booths have been declared hyper-sensitive, 29 are sensitive.
Deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja addressed all polling parties on Saturday. “ No one is allowed to take mobile phones at polling booths,” he said.
The last hour of polling has been dedicated to Covid-19 patients, said Ahuja, adding that others can also vote during the last hour.
“Not more than 1,000 voters are allowed at every polling booth. Each polling booth will have thermal scanners and sanitisers besides PPE kits for those in need. Special arrangements will be made for senior citizens, pregnant women, and specially abled people,” he said.
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.